"We couldn't get anything to fall for us and they turned it on offensively and ran away with it", said DeRozan. "We just had to weather the storm". Kyrie Irving also scored 16 points and Kyle Korver had 14 points while going 4-for-6 in 3-point attempts. They trailed by only two after three quarters before the Cavaliers quickly blew open the game.
I was one of those people who thought the Toronto Raptors could push the Cavs in this series, as they did last year and this team is deeper than a year ago.
It would be hard for Toronto not to be more competitive at home Friday night, but the Cavs are just playing on a different level at the moment. "You don't want to get swept, especially in your home building". That streak ended when Toronto beat the Cavs in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, but the Raptors couldn't duplicate the feat this time around.
"We wouldn't be talking about it", James said. He scored 35 points, 13 in a powerful stretch to open the deciding fourth quarter, to go with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Despite losing Tony Parker for the season in Game 2, the Spurs duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points each.
"We can't allow that type of freedom, that type of comfort with him or any other player, to be able to spin the ball like that", Raptors guard Norm Powell said Friday morning after shootaround.
Valanciunas contributed 15 points for the Raptors, while Norman Powell added 13 points and Ibaka 12.
DeRozan got some personal redemption after having to sit for two days and stew on that five-point effort in Game 2 going off for 37 but without some help elsewhere it just wasn't enough.
Hampered by an ankle injury, Toronto Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry spent Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal on the bench. After a trip to the locker room, he returned to the floor shortly thereafter, but was unable to finish the game.
"They understand what's at stake", Lue said. "He was in so much pain he just couldn't go".More news: Trump commits to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal: 'We will do it'
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Casey said Cory Joseph would take over if Lowry is unable to start. However, late in the third quarter, Kyle Korver hit back-to-back late three's to give the Cavs a 79-77 lead after three periods. After making 14 of 41 three-point attempts in Game 1, the Cavs went 18-of-33 from behind the arc in Game 2. On Wednesday, Cleveland was moving the ball around nicely and getting high-percentage shots.
Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson got in the face of Valanciunas after the Lithuanian center dragged James down to the court during a third-quarter skirmish. Thompson grabbed 12. Their 25 caroms matched the entire Toronto team.
Lowry missed Game 3 due to the injury. James hit 15-of-16 free throws and just nine field goals.
Toronto had not lost three consecutive games since the All-Star break. Toronto lost three in a row from February 8 to 14. No such shift occurred tonight, as the Cavs handled the Raptors 115-94 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. With the NBA's most famous global team ambassador in attendance, Toronto seemed to find new life early on.
Percentages: FG.513, FT.857.
Had they got even an average night from behind the three-point line, the Raptors might now be a game away from tying this series up. Kevin Love is the third double-digit scorer and Channing Frye is grabbing 2.3 rebounds.
Percentages: FG.437, FT.941.
The team said Thomas has a four-piece temporary bridge that cracked when he was re-injured and replaced at halftime of Game 3 on Thursday.
Blocked Shots: 4 (Ibaka 2, Joseph, Patterson). "We have to bear down defensively and hold down the fort during the first half".